Ramsey County receives funding from federal sources and repayments of current loans to capitalize its loan pool. Business Loan staff provides technical assistance in meeting program requirements and will work with applicants to determine the most appropriate source for financing. Accepted loan application packages are reviewed by an independent committee; loan terms and conditions are negotiated by Ramsey County and repayment is made to the County.
Applicant Eligibility Loans are available on a first-come, first-served basis to for-profit start-up or expanding businesses. Loans are restricted to commercial, industrial or service businesses located in or moving to Ramsey County. To qualify, businesses must be registered to do business in Minnesota and must demonstrate a need for public financing.
General Requirements Create or retain a minimum of five full-time jobs; a majority of which must be available to low and moderate income employees. Enter into a hiring agreement to consider applicants from a job-ready pool referred by the County’s Job Training Partnership. Obtain at least 60% of financing from other sources; expanding businesses equity injection should be a minimum of 5% of fixed assets. New and start-up businesses must provide at least 20 percent in equity investment in fixed assets.
Economic Gardening Program
The City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County, in partnership with the Edward Lowe Foundation and the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG), are participating in a metro-wide Economic Gardening Program aimed at connecting seasoned businesses with strategic research, facilitated CEO discussions, and access to a team of specialists that provide expert knowledge in their respective fields. The program provides free tools and resources for companies looking to take their business to the next level.
Economic Gardening takes an entrepreneurial approach to regional prosperity. Often referred to as a “grow from within” strategy, it helps existing companies within a community grow larger. In contrast to traditional business assistance, Economic Gardening focuses on strategic growth challenges, such as developing new markets, refining business models and gaining access to competitive intelligence.
Economic Gardening specialists help CEOs identify which issues are hindering their growth and then leverage sophisticated tools to deliver insights and information that CEOs can apply immediately.
Only 45 companies are selected each year, across the entire Twin Cities metro region, to participate in the eight-month Economic Gardening Program.